Tim Horton’s Recently Renovated.
When culture changes, organizations have to adapt. If an organization wants to continue to fulfil its mandate year after year, change must take place.
As Canadians, we have seen this lived out within our beloved fast food chain, Tim Horton’s. Almost all of them are being renovated towards a more cafe look. All in all, at atmosphere that spends the message, “Stay a while.“
But how long should we stay?
Considering the instalment of USB supported outlets in every booth, the message seems to be, “As long as you want.”
This move is huge.
It’s one thing to verbally or through signage, encourage someone to stay a while. However, to renovate your entire space to make it more conducive for a longer stay, right down to USB ports in every booth; that is a very precise move.
This decision was definitely discussed at length around a boardroom table at Tim Horton’s headquarters. How do we know? Because this was not Tim’s previous message.
20 Minute Time Limit
A decade ago, you could find signage stating quite the opposite, posted in every Tim Horton’s all over the country. Clearly, the message found here is, “Don’t stay a while.“
There are numerous stories online, even within the past 5 years, of Tim’s staff telling college students to leave because they were loitering. Obviously, Tim’s was not the place to study, but now it definitely is.
Tim’s renos give us clues into culture.
This radical shift in our Canadian icon can give us some important information about our friends and neighbours. There are a few clues found in these renos that can help us make a greater impact on our culture.
“The spiritual does not come first, but the physical does, and then comes the spiritual.” (1 Cor. 15:46)
Here’s 3 Clues To Culture To Consider:
Here’s 3 clues into our culture from the recent physical face-lift of our beloved Tim Horton’s.
1. Physical environment sends a message.
Physical environment can have a major impact on the emotional and/or relational responses of those who enter. Tim Horton’s new cafe look sends a warm, inviting message to all who enter.
The physical environment of our churches should say, “You are welcome here and we want you to stay a while.” If they don’t, its time for some renos.
2. Objects speak louder than signage.
Tim Horton’s move to install USB electrical outlets in every booth sends a message that is louder than any signage.
“We appreciate you so much, that while you’re enjoying you coffee, go ahead and charge your phone, tablet or laptop right here at your table. If you need to, stay a while and get some work done. Why go back to the chaos of the office, when you could just stay here with us?”
Churches should have objects that speak loudly.
The obvious being a cross, located somewhere on our buildings. The bait and switch of “psych, you thought we were a community centre but we’re a church” has been used and failed miserably.
Objects like fire extinguishers, first-aid kits, bathroom location and physical barriers that protect children; all say way more to a mother than any colourful children’s ministry signage.
For our men, just start with taking note of how much floral decor a church really needs.
3. Relationship pays off in the end.
Tim’s new look and practical aids to life have created an a place where relationship can happen easily. “Why meet in the office, when we could just go down the block to Tim’s? It’s more comfortable there anyway.”
Christianity does not need to be comfortable.
As we become seasoned disciples, life becomes anything but comfortable. Nevertheless, if our meeting places are to provide a place of rest and reward, after a week of toiled with the outside world; it needs to be conducive to relationship.
Should you put a cafe in our church? Maybe. Perhaps we just need bigger foyers. Maybe we just need to have more meals after service. Perhaps, we just need to encourage people to stay and hang out.
Join the Conversation, Leave Your Thoughts
What cultural clues for the Canadian church can you see in Tim Horton’s recent facelift?